Property owners are required to address bedbug infestations promptly. Left untreated, bedbugs can spread quickly. The surest strategies to keep bedbugs from spreading are prevention, early detection, and rapid treatment. See the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Preventing and Getting Rid of Bedbugs Safely guide.
New York State law requires that property owners hire only pest control professionals licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to treat apartments for bedbugs. The pest control professional should perform an inspection to confirm the presence of bedbugs and to eliminate bedbugs, if necessary. Property owners are expected to make follow-up visits to ensure that there are no signs of bedbug infestation.
Tenants should report the presence of bedbugs to the property owner. If the property owner does not address the condition, tenants can call 311.
When calling 311 to make a bedbug complaint, the caller may be asked by the 311 operator about whether it would be acceptable for HPD to bring a dog trained to sniff out bedbugs to participate in an inspection (note that even if requested, the dog may not accompany an Inspector). Whether or not a dog is present during an inspection, an HPD Inspector will conduct a visual inspection. Violations will be issued if the Inspector is able to visually confirm the presence of live bedbugs.
For more information on how to detect, prevent, and treat bedbugs visit the DOHMH Bedbug Portal.
Property owners of rental residential properties are now required to file a Bedbug Annual Report. These property owners must attempt to obtain the bedbug infestation history from their tenant. The report includes the bedbug infestation history of the residential building including whether eradication measures were employed for a bedbug infestation.
Once the Bedbug Annual Report has been filed, the property owner is required to either provide the filing receipt to each tenant (upon commencement of a new lease and with each lease renewal) OR post the filing receipt in a prominent location in the building. In addition, the property owner must either distribute to each tenant or post the DOHMH Preventing and Getting Rid of Bedbugs Safely guide, which provides information on the prevention, detection, and removal of bedbugs.